Lauren & Brian - Sneem, Ireland

Added on by Ian Weldon.

When I got the email from Lauren saying that herself and Brian were living in New York and were returning to Ireland to get married my first thought was, it's a pity that it wasn't the other way around.

After my disappointment had subsided and a couple of emails and phone calls were behind us I forgave them for their inconsiderate wedding destination decision and was looking forward to heading off to Sneem, on the west coast of Ireland, to document their wedding.

My girlfriend and I decided to make a week of it, travelling around Ireland seeing some sights and meeting up with friends. We went to Dublin, Galway, the Cliffs of Moher (it was too foggy to see anything), Killarney National Park and down to Sneem for the wedding and then back over to Wicklow on the east coast to meet up with the very sexy Eric of Savo Photography. (Who made me drink a bottle of whisky. The ferry home the next day was torture)

All of our galavanting was great but the wedding was something special.

Lauren & Brian are two of the most warm and welcoming people I've ever met. The place they had chosen for their wedding was beautiful and their family and friends were just cool, in every sense of the word. 

From the dress ironing fiasco to the love that Lauren & Brian have for each other to the hilarious speeches to drinking and dancing, it was nothing less than perfect.

Thanks guys, it was a blast.

Some photographs just seem to make themselves, and I'm just happy to have been there.

Best 100 Wedding the WORLD!

Added on by Ian Weldon.

I'm not really a list or awards kind of guy, but I can't deny that being included alongside some long admired and truly amazing photographers, has put a bit of a spring in my step. Not because I've been included on a list, but because what I do has been recognised and accepted as part of an industry that seems to only follow what's 'in vogue' at the moment.

I don't follow trends and fads, it's about the photography. It's always been about the photography. I don't understand how photographers can get some swanky branding, attend a workshop to emulate another photographer, and then be able to sleep at night. Safe in the knowledge that their product has no substance.

X Factor photography I like to call it. Reward with no achievement, fame with no hard work. Everyone wants to be famous and their role models are only famous for being famous. It's a mixed up muddled up shook up world, for sure.

Advice I give to anyone that asks, is to work hard. Study and practice. It's the only way you're ever going to find out who you are as a photographer.

When I was learning to sing (I still haven't by the way) I was told to never judge my singing voice until I'd actually found it. How can you know what your singing voice sounds like if you're not actually singing yet. I still don't know, because I still can't sing. I can shout on a bit, copy some other singers a bit, but I can't actually sing.

Anyone taking up photography needs to understand this. How can you know what your photography will look like if you aren't be able to use your instrument as though it's part of you.

You can check out the list, HERE!. Get yourself a cuppa, there's some amazing work that'll delight your eyeballs.....

Hurray for lists!

Anna & Ben - The McQueen Family Home, Hutton Rugby

Added on by Ian Weldon.

I've documented so many great weddings this year already it'd be hard to say which was my favourite.

Should I have favourites? Well, it's inevitable, with each one having it's own merits for individuality some will subscribe to my mind set more than others.

I think that this wedding has just nudged into first place. 

Anna & Ben are cool - even though it was 35º and barely a cloud in the sky - laid back and two of the nicest people I've ever met. Their families and friends were warm and welcoming and I truly could have been a guest. 

From the subtlety of Anna's Wedding Dress to the endless entertainment the detail shone through to produce one hell of a party, and their guests certainly stepped up to the challenge. 

If you're a football or music fan you're probably going to spot some familiar faces too.

Jolly good show.

the dress -

the banjo guy -

the brass band -

Steph & Gary - Crook Hall, Durham

Added on by Ian Weldon.

Don't you just love it when you book a Wedding, become friends with the Bride & Groom, you go out for drinks, you go to their house, they come to your house, you also become friends with their family & friends, you go on the stag do and your girlfriend goes on the hen do, you get a mention in the speech (well, that's a given), they have their reception at their house, you're automatically invited, your girlfriend is too, and you have to get a taxi home because you've drank far too may 8% Belgian beers. 

Yeah, me too.

But now I've been paid for my services, that's it Steph & Gary. It's over.

Kidding. Not kidding. Kidding.

Sarah & James - Allerton Castle, York

Added on by Ian Weldon.

Photographing a Wedding is like a day off for me. I don't have to think about anything other than making photographs.

No emailing, invoicing, accounts, estimates, editing, processing or tiding my office. And I don't get any anxiety about not doing that stuff because I can't be anywhere apart from where I am. Even then I'm not thinking about anything, I'm just going with the flow, and sometimes I'm genuinely surprised by the results.

You see, all of the study, the understanding and analysing is done before, and after the wedding. From the first press of the shutter to the last press of the shutter it's a bit of a blur, an intuitive and spontaneous blur, that over the years has become more and more refined. And because of that refinement I find myself meeting people like Sarah & James.

Two of the most grounded and nicest people I think I've ever met.

From singing Beatles songs at their ceremony, to the hilarious best men speech, to the late night dancing, there was a lot of love at Allerton Castle that day. 

I know it's a bit of a cliché to say that it's an honour to be able to do what I do and to be invited into peoples lives on their wedding day, but sometimes it really is.